Blog: MCA DNA Index

Visiting Invisible Museums

Intro Text

2020 seems to be all about the power of unseeable things—whether that is microscopic droplets in the air or the intangible relationships between people. Within that context, artist Jeanette Andrews investigates invisible forces in an interactive audio artwork available to anyone with a charged smartphone, access to Chicago parks, and a pair of headphones. We’re breaking down the steps to engage with this artwork-in-an-app to ensure the easiest experience for anyone who’s curious.

Featured image

Jeannette Andrews, Invisible Museums of the Unseen, 2020. Photo: Amanda Abernathy

What is it?

What is it Text

Invisible Museums of the Unseen is an interactive experience by Jeanette Andrews that is available in Chicago parks and is hosted on the Gesso app. Gesso is a company that makes “audio-first, geo-responsive digital guides” to bring people closer to their environment and to the objects around them. Andrews collaborated with Gesso to create hidden museums in Chicago’s parks, each dedicated to the mysterious forces that act upon us.

Where is it?

Where is it Text

Download the Gesso app on your smartphone. You can open the app within any of these parks to access the following galleries:

  • Invisible Museum of Soundwaves in Winnemac Park
  • Invisible Museum of Gravity in Lincoln Park
  • Invisible Museum of Air in Washington Park
  • Invisible Museum of Reflections in Douglass Park

When is it?

When is it Text

This artwork is part of The Long Dream and available on November 7 through the exhibition's close on January 17, 2021. Your park trip will take approximately 25–45 minutes, depending on your unique choices.

How do I use it?

How do I use it text

  • Using a smartphone, scan the QR code or visit gesso.app/download to download the Gesso app.
  • Open the app and click “always enable location.” You will be prompted to set up an account.
  • The app will automatically bump you to Chicago if you’re in the city and will show the Invisible Museum closest to your location. If you’re outside of Chicago and want to take a peek, tap the city name at the top of the app, and choose “Chicago” from the pull down menu.
  • Charge your phone and bring a pair of headphones with you to the park you choose.
  • Once you physically arrive at the park, the app will instruct you on how to begin your experience.

Can’t access the app?

I don’t have the app text

If you are unable to download the Gesso app or make it to the museum, you can find the audio tours on the Gesso website at the links below. The scores are meant to be enjoyed in nature, so seek that out however is possible for you.

Invisible Museum of Soundwaves
Invisible Museum of Gravity
Invisible Museum of Air
Invisible Museum of Reflections

Art Outdoors: … and Indoors, and All Around